My journey through Scotland
Fort William and CamperVan love
Between my husband’s shifts, our holidays abroad and waiting for a ‘good weekend’ weather-wise, the summer was quickly disappearing along with our opportunity to take a trip in my parent’s new VW campervan. So come late September, we were super excited to be packing up ready for an adventure. In the end we opted for a campsite, rather than diving straight into wild-camping, and set our sights on Fort William.
Despite having spent a fair few of my childhood holidays around Scotland, the stunning landscape continues to amaze me, and within half an hour of leaving Glasgow we could already feel ourselves unwinding as we headed into the tranquility of the highlands.
A quick stop at the local supermarket, then really easy set up at the Glen Nevis campsite and before we knew it we were settling down to a cool drink with a lasagne in the oven of the van. Despite holding out for a nice weekend, we sat out under some heavy cloud, but hoped it would clear by the morning. We enjoyed our dinner being cosy in the van with a Netflix comedy special on the ipad (paying the extra for the campsite wifi was definitely worth it!), then got ready for bed. The top bed was surprisingly comfy and warm, and relative easy to climb up to – even at 26 weeks pregnant! Hubby and I both agreed we had slept really well and loved the sound of the rain on the roof through the night.
Thankfully the morning was a bit drier, so we headed off on a walk through Nevis gorge to Steall Waterfall. It was a short drive from the campsite and the walk took about 45 minutes each way, along a path which was a bit rough at times but well worth it for the view of the waterfall (which my husband tells me features in a Harry Potter film!).
We timed it perfectly as the weather really started to set in as we got back to the van. So, cold and a bit wet, we stopped in at the Ben Nevis Inn and Bunkhouse for an early dinner. It was the perfect choice as the barn-style restaurant was already really lively and had a great atmosphere. Luckily we got a table and had a delicious meal – a standard pub-grub menu, done really well.
Back in our ‘home on wheels’ returning to the campsite I was planning another cosy night, but was persuaded to visit the campsite bar/ restaurant for a night cap (hot chocolate for me!).
There was something nostalgic about walking back to the van in the dark with our torch, feeling the stillness of the campsite and seeing the warm glow of lights inside the other tents and caravans.
Another good night’s sleep followed and the next morning we took our time to pack up and head back down the road, feeling like we had been away for longer than just a couple of nights! We are so lucky to have this scenery and tourist industry right on our doorstep and can’t wait to visit more places soon.
Having a rare weekend off work together, Andrew and I decided to make the most of it with a last minute trip – and Dunkeld fitted the bill. Being less than an hour and a half from Glasgow meant we didn’t spend too long travelling but still felt like we were away from the norm. Our accommodation wasn’t much to write home about but the village was lovely with some nice pubs and craft shops, as well as an amazing antiques shop where we spent ages exploring… and picked up a few items to bring home!
As it’s on the banks of the Tay, we walked along the riverside in both directions as well as visiting the Beatrix Potter exhibition in nearby Birnam. We also visited Pitlochry and took a more scenic route home via the Highland Chocolatier – a must for anyone with a sweet tooth!
We could have looked for a cheap city break abroad, but being able to get to our destination so quickly, without the hassle of airports and transfers, makes weekend breaks in Scotland our preferred choice most of the time. There’s always so much to do and we love finding new places to visit!
Kirsten Begg, Glasgow.